Glen Campbell, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ singer, dies at age 81
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.
Campbell’s family said the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.
“Glen is one of the greatest voices there ever was in the business and he was one of the greatest musicians,” said Dolly Parton in a video statement. “He was a wonderful session musician as well. A lot of people don’t realize that. But he could play anything and he could play it really well.”
Tributes poured in on social media. “Thank you, Glen Campbell, for sharing your talent with us for so many years May you rest in peace my friend You will never be forgotten,” wrote Charlie Daniels. One of Campbell’s daughters, Ashley, said she was heartbroken. “I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so well and with so much love,” she wrote on Twitter.
“You were a shining light in so many ways,” Brad Paisley tweeted.
In the late 1960s and well into the ‘70s, the Arkansas native was seemingly everywhere with his boyish face, wavy hair and friendly tenor. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits, including No. 1 songs with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”
A sharecropper’s son who was one of 12 children, he was born outside of Delight, Arkansas, and grew up revering country music stars such as Hank Williams.
“I’m not a country singer per se,” Campbell once said. “I’m a country boy who sings.”